Tuesday, July 23, 2013

HFVBT: The Queen's Rivals by Brandy Purdey--Review and {Giveaway}

My thoughts
Although I know of Jane Grey's story, her lineage and the circumstances surrounding her execution, I did not know a lot about her family. I certainly did not know that one of her sisters was a dwarf, or that her mother was so very cruel. Now I realize that this is historical 'fiction' and, not having read extensively about Jane Grey, I can't say how historically accurate this book is. However, Purdy has written a great book giving us not only the story of Jane Grey, but a glimpse of the lives that surrounded her. I enjoyed the characterization of the sisters. Jane, it would seem, was very studious and serious...and stubborn, which really rubbed their lady-mother the wrong way. The vivacious Kate was a delight to read about and Mary seemed such a sweet girl. It must have been a difficult life for her.

There were a couple scenarios in the book that were quite shocking. Again, not sure about historical accuracy, but the elements added some interest to the story. Of course, the execution parts of the books were very sad and, Jane's time at the block especially, brought tears to my eyes.

In all, I very much recommend this book. Maybe it isn't completely accurate historically (again, I can't say for sure on what I know of the subject matter), but historical fiction is 'fiction' and the value of a good story is that it makes the reader more interested in the subject matter and thus more interested in history. For me, that's the goal and it was achieved here.

About the book
Publication Date: June 25, 2013
Kensington Publishing
Paperback; 384p
ISBN-10: 0758265999

UK Publication Date: September 12, 2013
Avon Publishing
ISBN-10: 1847563457

Their ambitions were ordinary, but they were born too close to the throne...

As cousins of history's most tempestuous queens, Ladies Jane, Katherine, and Mary Grey were born in an age when all of London lived beneath the Tower's menacing shadow. Tyrannized by Bloody Mary and the Virgin Queen, the sisters feared love was unthinkable —and the scaffold all but unavoidable...

Raised to fear her royal blood and what it might lead men to do in her name, Mary Grey dreads what will become of herself and her elder sisters under the reigns of Mary Tudor and Elizabeth I. On their honor, they have no designs on the crown, yet are condemned to solitude, forbidden to wed. Though Mary, accustomed to dwelling in the shadows, the subject of whispers, may never catch the eye of a gentleman, her beautiful and brilliant sisters long for freedoms that would surely cost their lives. And so, wizened for her years, Mary can only hope for divine providence amid a bleak present and a future at the whim of the throne — unless destiny gains the upper hand.

A gripping and bittersweet tale of broken families and broken hearts, courage and conviction, The Queen's Rivals recounts an astonishing chapter in the hard-won battle for the Tudor throne.

Please note this book will be published in the UK as THE FALLEN QUEEN by Emily Purdy.

About the author
Brandy Purdy (Emily Purdy in the UK) is the author of the historical novels THE CONFESSION OF PIERS GAVESTON, THE BOLEYN WIFE (THE TUDOR WIFE), THE TUDOR THRONE (MARY & ELIZABETH), THE QUEEN'S PLEASURE (A COURT AFFAIR), and THE QUEEN'S RIVALS (THE FALLEN QUEEN). An ardent book lover since early childhood, she first became interested in history at the age of nine or ten years old when she read a book of ghost stories which contained a chapter about Anne Boleyn haunting the Tower of London. Visit her website at www.brandypurdy.com, you can also follow her, and her cat Tabby, via her blog at http://brandypurdy.blogspot.com where she posts updates about her work and weekly book reviews.

Visit other blogs on the tour--Tour Schedule
Twitter Hashtag: #QueensRivalsTour

One copy of The Queen's Rivals to a winner in the U.S. Please leave a comment and be sure to leave a way for me to contact you if you win (email address, Twitter handle, etc). Last day to enter is Tuesday, August 6 at 11:59pm CST. Good luck!

A copy of this book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for providing it.


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  1. Great review Michelle, I feel the same way about historical fiction, it is just that, fiction based on facts. Are these facts true, maybe not, but I think an author at times needs to 'embellish a story' because history can be a very dry topic to read...

  2. One of my very favorite families to read about - thanks for the giveaway!


  3. Love reading about the Grey family interactions with the Tudors-so dramatic! Thanks for the chance to win!

    lafra86 at gmail dot com

  4. Great review!! This sounds like a book I would love to read. Please enter me in your giveaway.


  5. Would love to read this novel. Thanks for hosting!

    mosthappyreader (at) gmail (dot) com

  6. Thank you for the chance to win this book, I am a fan of Brandy's as well as historical fiction. griperang at embarqmail dot com

  7. Loved Brandy's last novel! Thanks for the chance to win!
    heatheranne99 at gmail dot com

  8. I've always been fascinated by Lady Jane Grey and her sisters. Thanks for the giveaway.

  9. I'm looking forward to reading The Queen's Rivals! Thank you for the giveaway.
    mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

  10. This sounds like an interesting book Michelle - please include me in the giveaway!
    Best way to reach me is to e-mail me, leave a blog comment, or tweet me!

    Create With Joy

  11. I am excited to read this book! I look forward to learning more about Mary Grey's life and her perspective on the court and her sister's lives as well. Thanks for the giveaway!

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